Chanel’s New Quota System: Only 2 Classic Bags Per Year
Expect prices of Chanel Classic Flaps and Mini’s to skyrocket on the resale market as Chanel reveals their new quota system. Yes, that’s right, as of June 7th, 2022, the new purchase policy is two classics per year (any size, any color). This is big news for many Chanel lovers, and especially for those of us that are used to purchasing multiple bags per year. What if you’ve already purchased two Classic Flaps before June 7th? Will Chanel now assume that you’ve made your quota for the year and not sell you anymore bags? Why did they implement a quota system in the first place? Answers to these and many more of your burning Chanel questions in this blog post.
Let me preface this blog post by saying that this isn’t the first time we see Chanel implementing a quota system. If you remember, back in 2021, Chanel has introduced a quota that would limit a customer to make 12 purchases of each category per year. That would mean a customer could purchase up to 12 handbags, up to 12 small leather goods, accessories and so on, per calendar year. I know most people are gonna say that 12 items per year from each category is a plenty, but then again, there are people out there who are serious Chanel collectors and for them 12 would feel pretty restrictive. I guess it all depends on how often you like to shop at Chanel.
By the way, Chanel isn’t the only brand out there that uses quotas. Louis Vuitton has been restricting their customers for quite some time now, putting limits on how many canvas pieces we can purchase per year. Hermes has also been using a very similar system where they limit their customers to purchasing only two quota (Birkin, Kelly, or Constance) bags per year. As if it was that easy to get your hands on one of those bags in the first place! Actually, doesn’t this sound familiar? That’s exactly what Chanel is doing to us right now. Restricting us to only two classic bags per year. Funny enough, when news about the new quota system at Chanel just broke last month, the first reactions that we saw were like: “Chanel is trying to become Hermes”. But, if seriously, what are the real reasons behind this super-restrictive purchase policy at Chanel?
Why do brands impose purchase limits?
There are many reasons for why brands might want to impose purchase limits, though most of the time they do it to tackle product shortages. In December 2021, Bruno Pavlovsky, president of Chanel Fashion and Chanel SAS, has admitted in an interview to Vogue Business, that Chanel don’t have enough products to sell to their customers. According to him, it’s not because they don’t want to manufacture, but because the demand consistently outweighs their forecasts (here he’s talking about the demand for Chanel handbags in particular). And he’s right. Demand for Chanel handbags continues to sore despite higher prices.
However, in case of Chanel, it isn’t just about product shortages. You know how they say in the luxury industry: if you are not exclusive; you are no longer luxury. The main reason consumers are willing to spend thousands on luxury items is because of their scarcity and exclusivity. Let’s be honest: it’s been pretty easy to get your hands on the Chanel Classic Flap, or any other Chanel handbag lately. Just go to one of the hundreds of luxury resellers and the bag is yours. How exclusive does that feel!? Right, it doesn’t feel exclusive at all.
Actually, Chanel has been trying to fight the reseller market for quite some time now. I think at this point everyone is aware of how resellers are coming into Chanel boutiques the moment new collections launch and buy up all the most sought-after pieces to later flip them for profit. This is a huge problem for Chanel, because it devalues their brand image and puts them in a negative light in front of their loyal customers. A quota system would not only help so solve the reseller problem, but it would also help to elevate the status of the Classic Flap. The fewer bags on the market – the more exclusive and sought-after is the handbag.
What does the new Chanel quota system mean for the consumers?
If you are that person that buys multiple Chanel Classic Flaps per year, I feel you. It is very likely that Chanel isn’t going to let you purchase more bags if you’ve already bought two before June 7th. The thing is that this new quota system applies to the entire fiscal year of 2022. So, if you’ve already purchased two bags before June 7th, your SA is going to assume that you’ve already made your quota for the year and not sell you any more bags. What can you do then? Well, you really only have two choices here and that’s to either ask someone else to go and buy the bags for you, or to turn to the resale market.
Will it stop the resellers?
Talking about the resale market. While I do believe that this new quota system is going to impact Chanel resellers in a big way, the impact isn’t necessarily going to be negative. Here’s why. Now everyone who has used up their purchase quota in boutiques is going to run to the resellers if they want to buy another handbag. Right now, there’s no shortage of Chanel Classic Flaps and Mini’s on the resale market. However, it might be the case in the future. As Chanel is now limiting the amount of classics to be sold, eventually there will be fewer bags in circulation. And we all know that limited supply is going to push resale prices higher.
I think it’s mostly personal shoppers and individual resellers that are going to be impacted in a negative way. That’s because their business is often based on purchasing multiples of the hottest styles and then flipping them the next day. With this new quota system in place, they will no longer be able to do that. Unless they hire other people to go into the stores to purchase bags under different accounts. I don’t know how about you, but I have a feeling that very few individual resellers are going to make it through.
To finish off with a bit of positive news. As of now, the new quota system has only been confirmed for the U.S. market. So, Chanel lovers in other parts of the World can breathe out with ease. But really, for how long? Do we think Chanel will try to implement this worldwide? Actually, what are your thoughts on this new quota system at Chanel? Sound off in the comments below!